NL All-Star roster
NEW YORK -- Jason Giambi has been an All-Star in each of the past three seasons, twice as a starter, courtesy of the fans' vote. Now, he needs the fans more than ever.
Giambi is one of five American League finalists for the
etopps All-Star Final Vote, as the fans will select the final representative in both leagues. Joining Giambi in the AL are Boston catcher Jason Varitek, Anaheim catcher Bengie Molina, Oakland outfielder Eric Byrnes and Chicago first baseman/DH Frank Thomas.
"That's cool," Giambi said after being informed of his nomination. "It's exciting to be a part of the whole All-Star experience. We'll wait and see."
Toronto's Carlos Delgado was voted in as the AL's starting first baseman, while Kansas City's Mike Sweeney was selected as a reserve.
"Guys are having great years," Giambi said. "I think it's always an honor to go to the All-Star Game, but I'm not worried about it."
Giambi, who started the All-Star Games in 2000 and 2002, was batting .266 with 23 home runs and 64 RBIs heading into Sunday's action. He battled an eye infection throughout May, but bounced back with a huge June, winning the AL Player of the Month award for the fourth time in his career.
Giambi batted .373 (31-for-83) in 27 games in June, hitting 11 home runs and driving in 29 runs. The first baseman also led the AL with an .819 slugging percentage and a .554 on-base percentage, and tied for the league lead with 27 runs scored.
"With that eye infection, I sputtered for about three weeks," Giambi said recently. "I could see, it just wasn't crisp. I was having trouble with off-speed pitches. The way they pitch me, I don't get fastballs down the middle anymore. Now, I'm taking consistent at-bats again and hitting the ball hard."
Giambi leads the American League in walks with 72, 11 more than Thomas. He also ranks among the league leaders in home runs (second, behind only Carlos Delgado), RBIs (sixth) and on-base percentage (.419, seventh in the AL).
Giambi has homered once every 12.6 at-bats, the second-best ratio in the AL. Only Delgado has gone deep more often, homering once every 11.3 at-bats.
"I guess once he learned how to see again, he did a pretty good job," said manager Joe Torre. "He's such a good hitter, and with the number of home runs he hits, to know that he'll take a walk, that makes him unique."
Players were nominated by 2003 All-Star Game managers Dusty Baker and Mike Scioscia in conjunction with Major League Baseball. Fans can vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster here. The etopps All-Star Final Vote ends on Wednesday, July 9 at 6 p.m. ET. Winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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